Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Friday cat blogging, Trip edition.

As previously mentioned, Colin and I have gone away for the Holidays. We have sadly left Hodag behind in New Orleans, so this will be the last cute Hodag photo for a while. I promise that he will be well taken care of in our absence, so no worries! I chose this one because he looks miffed that we will be gone for so long.

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack....

Living in New Orleans truly is a once in a lifetime experience, just like the talking heads suggested in their song. Last weekend I saw some amazing shotgun houses, and paused to take pictures. Then I hummed "once in a lifetime" as I drove home.

The eves under two shotgun houses. Notice how the porch ceilings are painted light blue? That color is called 'Haunt blue' and deserves a post in and of itself, so I will come back to that at a later date.

A bright yellow double shotgun house in the Bywater area.

This house was just down the street from the yellow house above. It is also a double shotgun, (sometimes called double barreled) meaning that two families lived there.

A more staid Uptown shotgun house. This one is nice because it shows the original entrances for both sides of the shotgun.


The house is all tucked in, we're packed up, and people have been hired to feed Hodag and keep him from getting too bored while we are gone. We leave early in the morning for vacation. We fly from Louis Armstrong Airport, then to LAX, then to the island of Kauai in Hawaii. I know, our lives are so hard. Somehow we manage. We'll be in Hawaii with Nora's parent for Christmas, then in California with both sets of parents for New Year's, then in Chicago for a few days just to see everyone there. We may check in a few times while we are gone, but our posting frequency will probably be closer to the last two weeks than to the rest of the semester.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday cat blogging, finals edition

Colin and I are almost done with our first semester at Grad school. Actually I finished my exams today, when I took my final in Protozoology. Colin finishes tomorrow afternoon when he takes his Solid State exam. This whole week Hodag has been helping us study, and by study I mean sleep on our exam materials. Here he is earlier this week, sleeping on my Microbes of the Tropics notes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Junior, age two weeks

This is Junior. He is the first South Chinese tiger ever born outside of China. Only about 90 South Chinese tigers remain in the world, and Tiger Woods Jr. here is the hope of a breeding program established to save this endangered species. He is being hand reared as there were fears that he might not survive the unseasonably cold weather at the outdoor breeding center. Here he is getting a bottle feeding at about a week old.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Public Radio

This is a plug for our local public radio affiliate, WWNO. Besides the usual NPR news lineup, they play a lot of classical and jazz music. Nearly every other station we get plays primarily country, and we really haven't found any other radio stations down here that we like. So we listen to a lot of NPR. The full lineup is actually pretty good for us, because we can listen to the news while we're getting ready to leave in the morning and while we're making dinner, and we can listen to classical music while doing homework at night. One show we've discovered is American Routes, which is a local show about American folk music traditions. They play a lot of Zydeco. American Routes on during dinner on Sunday nights for us. I've discovered that it's also on in Chicago, but in a timeslot during which we never had the radio on at Moomers.

WWNO has recently switched over to an HD broadcast, so they now have two channels: WWNO and WWNO2. The receiver/amplifier/speaker system we have in the living room is all analog, so we can't get WWNO2 in the living room; we can only get the original broadcast over WWNO. Both channels are webcast, so we can get either at our computers in the office. Both channels carry all the NPR news shows; when WWNO has its general classical/jazz periods of the day, they put the classical music on WWNO and the jazz on WWNO2. Which is nice, because we can pick what we listen to while we study.

Obviously, we invite anyone who is interested to pick up the web feeds.

I want one!

Ok, scientists have just discovered an adorable new creature. Meet the long eared Jerboa, a resident of deserts in Mongolia and China. Apparently this little guy "has one of the largest ear to body ratios" among mammals. He lives in burrows and eats insects. Hobbies include indulging in small comical hopping, digging in sand, and socializing with other Jerboas. You can watch videos of these and other activities at BBC.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Dang, its good to be a ...

Jew! (not Gangsta)
Some times I am really proud of my faith, and this is an example of one of those times. Check out the Coalition of the environment and Jewish life to see their "A light among nations" campaign. Does anybody else think its funny that they mention that compact fluorescent bulbs burn eight times as long as regular bulbs?? (Hint, you may want to review the story of Hanukkah)


Friday, December 7, 2007


Tonight is the fourth night of Hanukkah. Colin and I have been celebrating by breaking out our new wedding present menorah and struggling in vain to find some candles for it. See, every synagogue hosts a Hanukkah fair the weekend before the holiday starts. At such fairs necessary Hanukkah swag such as candles and gelt as well as dreidles are sold so people will be prepared for the holiday. Of course, I had two exams last week, Colin had one, and we were both frantically studying for them and had completely forgotten that we lacked candles for our menorah. We did not go and attend the Hanukkah fair, and thus did not have our necessary candles. So, Tuesday rolls around, we break out the menorah and realize that we have no candles to fit it. No problem we decide, we will shave down some Manischewitz shabbos candles and use them for the first night. (Our particular brand of Judaism being fairly flexible about forgetting to get the right kind of candles). We do this for two nights, and on Thursday, after my second exam, I go looking for real candles to fit the menorah. I looked in several grocery stores, and even a Walgreen's but nobody carried candles for a menorah. In fact the clerk at Walgreen's looked at me as if I was nuts, despite the nearly half an aisle long candle section at the store. (I swear, they had every other kind of candle known to man, including scented Christmas candles, but no Hanukkah candles) And since I did not buy candles at the Hanukkah fair, were apparently every Jew in New Orleans gets their candles, we are up a creek without a paddle on this one.


Friday cat blogging

This Friday we feature Hodag and a Hodag. Colin bought me for my birthday a book called Happy the Hodag. The package arrived last night, and I took some photos of our Hodag with my new toy.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Hey, we've been there...

This week's amusing news story:

450 kegs of beer were stolen from the Guinness brewery last week.